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US head of troubled Afghan reconstruction watchdog resigns
Xinhua | August 05, 2011 10:39
By Agencies
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Head of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) Herbert Richardson will leave his post this month, marking a second leadership change in the office in half a year, media reported Thursday.

"After more than 37 years of public service, I've decided to accept an opportunity in the private sector, at a time when I'm convinced the SIGAR has changed course, is producing results, and is being led effectively by the new leadership team," Richardson was quoted as saying.

Richardson has been running the SIGAR office since January, when Arnie Fields was removed from his position after more than a year of complaints by senior senators.

Fields was criticized for failing to produce results in the effort to find waste, fraud, and abuse in the tens of billions of US dollars in contracts for Afghanistan reconstruction.

Richardson was never nominated to head the SIGAR permanently and was leading the office as acting chief. There's no word yet on who will take charge of the SIGAR. The reason for his departure is not immediately known.

The United States has committed 51 billion US dollars to Afghanistan reconstruction since 2001 and the endowment will reach 71 billion by the end of 2011.

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